Cleaning Out a Vintage Avon Cream Jar

A little while ago, I was browsing some vintage stores on a quiet Sunday and I stumbled across a vintage jar of Avon face cream. I thought the jar was so beautiful that it would be a lovely addition to my vanity if I gave it a good clean so that is our adventure for today! There are many of us who collect, or at least, admire vintage beauty products. Some items may need a little love and care (and a clean) so today I will be sharing my process of cleaning out a vintage face cream jar.


I’ve tried my best to research the Avon product I purchased. The bottom of the jar says “Avon: Skin Silk Day Cream” but such a product does not exist anymore. I couldn’t find an exact date of release but I did see one source state it came out in 1972 and another in 1960 so I’m guessing it’s at least 50 years old. I did see some sources refer to this product as the Avon Rich Moisture Cream in the “vanity jar” so I’m not sure if the name was changed at some point or if this is a different product all together. I don’t think this was a rare or highly sought after item and I don’t think it’s a collectable now, it only cost me $5 and as I said, I wanted it more for the jar than anything else. Upon searching online, I found a fair few of these jars available ranging from $10 to $80 (only one with cream still inside for $50). My jar had never been opened meaning it still had cream in it; and before you ask, no, I am not brave enough to put 50-year-old face cream on my face. Don’t be gross!

Let’s start with getting it open. I couldn’t so I got my husband to help and after a good bang and a colourful word I will not repeat, she was open! Now almost 50-year-old face cream doesn’t have the nicest smell but unsurprisingly, it reminded me of the retirement village I used to volunteer at. There was definitely a rose scent but it just smelt like old cosmetics. The consistency of the cream looked a little grainy; it definitely wasn’t smooth and creamy. I really didn’t want to touch it or have it on my skin incase I got a negative reaction to it.

To clean the jar, I began by scooping out all the old cream into a bowl with a spatula which I then disposed of. It did feel very wasteful to scoop out and throw out the old cream but I didn’t see a point in keeping a jar of old face cream which I was never intending to use. After a quick rinse under the tap, I then dunked the jar into a bowl of warm soapy water (I just used my normal dish soap) and with a toothbrush, I gave the whole thing a really good scrub. The jar cleaned up really well and the cream and gunk lifted from the jar with ease. I also gave the lid a scrub and was shocked to see loads of black dirt lift and wash away leaving behind a shiny and clean lid. On the inside of the lid, I gave the rim a really good scrub. I then noticed that inside the lid was a thin plastic cover with the Avon logo on it. This lid sits on top of the jar rim to stop air and bacteria getting into the product. When I scrubbing the main lid from the jar, I once again noticed it had a paper insert. It took me a bit to pick out this layer but I’m glad I did because it was coated in congealed old face cream and looked pretty gross. It was disposed off.

Once the lid and jar had had a good scrub, they both were rinsed and wiped down. I them put the glass jar into boiling water on the stove for 5 minutes to ensure it was truly cleaned and disinfected. Once it was cool enough to handle I used rubbing alcohol on a cotton round to rub all over the inside and outside of the jar. I made sure to pay attention to the rim line to make sure it was sparkling. I did the same with the jar lid once again using the cotton round and also a cotton tip to get into the rim and all the nooks and cranny’s. This may be a bit overkill but I’m a bit of a germaphobe and there’s a crazy world out there at the moment.

Once cleaned up, she came up absolutely beautiful. She was bright, sparkling and no longer smelt of old cream. I’m really happy with how it came out and now comes the question, what do I use the jar for now? I have many options; from storing jewellery, bobby pins, or something closer to it’s original intention by putting a face cream in it.I’m thinking of putting my Pond’s Cold Cream in it as I’ve been loving that product for a while now (see full review here or video here) and thought a lovely new jar would make it all the more appealing.

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Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.

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